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Radical Realignment? Orioles Fans: Would You Be For Or Against?

Today on NBC Sports / Hardball Talk; Craig Calcaterra relayed a Tracy Ringolsby article from Baseball America which spoke about possible expansion and radical realignment within Major League Baseball. 

Per Calcaterra, “Ringolsby stated that there is a ‘growing consensus’ within baseball that expansion and realignment are inevitable. The likely expansion cities would be Portland and Montreal. The 32-team league would then undergo a radical realignment that would involve reducing the season from 162 games to 156 games, while expanding the playoffs to 12 teams.”

(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)

Going off of that, here are my thoughts on what that could look like: 

East League

Mid-Atlantic
Baltimore
Pittsburgh
Philadelphia
NY Mets

South
DC
Atlanta
Tampa Bay
Miami

North
Toronto
Montreal
Boston
NY Yankees

Central
Cleveland
Cincinnati
Milwaukee
Detroit

West League

Don’t Have A Name Division
Texas
Houston
Minnesota
Colorado

Central 2
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
St. Louis
Kansas City

Pacific NW
Portland
Seattle
San Francisco
Oakland

Southern CA
LA Dodgers
LA Angels
San Diego
Arizona

156 Game Regular Season
3 Division Foes: 20 games each = 60 games
12 teams rest of league: 6 games each = 72 games
8 teams other league: 3 games each = 24 games

Post-Season:
Each Division Winner + 2 Wild Cards

1st Rd
WC1
WC2

D3
D4

D1 Bye
D2 Bye

2nd Rd
WC Winner
D1

D3 / 4 Winner
D2

3rd Rd
WC vs. D1 Winner
vs.
D3/4 vs. D2 Winner

Not married to this format. Maybe it makes more sense for the Wild Card teams to face the 3rd and 4th Division winners in the 1st Round.

I believe the 1st Round would have to be a best of 3. The idea being that you’d have two division winners involved, and you wouldn’t want the top two division winners to sit too long. 

I think I’d be fine with a large reshuffling, but I do respect that many would not. 

While radical realignment does seem aggressive for Baseball, I do bet they will do it by geography if: 

1) Teams would actually save $ on travel…
2) Players believe they would be better off not traveling as much… 
3) By this realignment by geography, if there would be more games for your fans to watch at ‘normal’ times for their respective markets. 

Many of us recall Milwaukee being the AL East. Or Houston as part of the NL. Or that when Atlanta started their run of division titles, they were the NL West Champs.

What I’ve suggested above would be an adjustment, but I think people would get over it quickly. 

Everyone talks about baseball being a regional game at this point. Seems like this would be the logical progression.

It’s been mentioned several times over the years, but a big proponent of radical realignment is Buck Showalter. He’s previously worked out his own model, which can be seen here.

O’s fans, would you be favor of or opposed to MLB Expansion, and radical realignment?

What would be your plan?

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Chris Stoner

Chris Stoner founded Baltimore Sports and Life in 2009. He has appeared as a radio guest with 1090 WBAL, 105.7 The Fan, CBS 1300, Q1370, WOYK 1350, WKAV 1400, and WNST 1570. He has also been interviewed by The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Business Journal, and PressBox (TV). As Owner, his responsibilities include serving as the Managing Editor, Publicist, & Sales Director. You can reach him via email at [email protected].

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